For Newcastle, there is no GÃ©rÃ©mi but Damien Duff starts his first game at Chelsea since leaving. Mark Viduka is on the bench with Obefami Martins coming back into the side to partner Smith up front. Michael Owen is also back on the bench for the first time since suffering an injury on England duty.
Cacapa, Faye and Taylor all start so we have quite a few central defenders in the line up. Surprisingly, Emre is left on the bench too, so this is a very defensive team.
Petr Cech and Andriy Shevchenko are absent through injury so Hilario returns in goal and Salomon Kalou will spearhead Chelsea’s attack. Carlo Cudicini’s rib injury means a place on the bench for Chelsea’s 17-year-old Wales Under 21 international goalkeeper Rhys Taylor.
Shaun Wright-Phillips returns on the right wing with Joe Cole on the left. Wayne Bridge, Juliano Belletti and Tal Ben-Haim come into the defense and Michael Ballack is captain.
Chelsea are expected to line up in a 4-3-3 formation as follows:
Chelsea: Hilario, Michael Essien, Joe Cole, John Obi Mikel, Michael Ballack, Wayne Bridge, Salomon Kalou, Tal Ben-Haim, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Alex, Juliano Belletti
Subs: Steve Sidwell, Claudio Pizzaro, Scott Sinclair, Paulo Ferreira, tbc
Newcastle United: Shay Given, Claudio Cacapa, Habib Beye, Charles N’Zogbia, Steven Taylor, Abdoulaye Faye, Nicky Butt, James Milner, Damien Duff, Alan Smith (c), Oba Martins
Subs: Steve Harper, David Rozehnal, Emre, Michael Owen, Mark Viduka
Referee: Mike Riley